First Impressions – Outbreak Company

Prepare to be evangelized!

And the Supreme Loli said, Let there be moe: and there was moe. And the Supreme Loli saw the moe, and it was good; and She divided the moe from the unworthy.


Brave New World

I think that could have gone worse.

Well actually this isn’t technically a “new” world our otaku protagonist is thrust into, but it might as well be. First things first, I should get this out of the way since obvious comparisons abound. Yes, Outbreak Company is highly reminiscent of Zero no Tsukaima; we have an everyday, ordinary guy (not to say that being an otaku NEET is the norm) who is abruptly cast into an unfamiliar, Medieval-ish world. But honestly the similarity is only superficial. Shinichi isn’t so much summoned out of thin air by fate as he is kidnapped by the government in recognition of his “skill set” and “talents”. And here our protagonist is actually in a rather hot-shot position as opposed to being a less glorious manservant. Expanding on that train of thought, I think it’s actually quite inspiring that Shinichi appeared to be seeking to turn his life around. In spite of being a withdrawn otaku, he’s actually got his shit together enough to be looking for a job like any splendid contributing member of society! Well, assuming that he really was job hunting seriously and not taking that survey on a whim like it was some sort of pop-up he clicked on… But I think I’d rather give him the benefit of the doubt.

All the moe they need.

Anyway, Brave New World really is quite an appropriate epithet considering the situation our hero finds himself in. It’s a world new to him, and this new world is bravely embracing the finer aspects of our own culture. If you stop and think about it for a moment, this suggests two important facts: anime is the epitome that all mankind has to offer, and the Supreme Ruler is also an otaku. Ok, one of those is probably not right. But let’s not sweat the small stuff. Looking at some of the characters in the show though, one has to wonder if her Highness really had to import anime from a foreign world to get her moe fix. Myuseru aside, the cast is filled with no shortage of cute girls, if the opening is any indication. Which then begs raises the question: is there really a need for moe missionaries in a world filled with such cute demi-human girls? Heck, perhaps our world could even stand to gain from theirs. I think this means a bi-directional exchange is in order!

Flashback Time

Deep life lessons.

I got a bit side-tracked there, so let’s forget about adorable half-elf maids and redirect our attention to some more serious points in the show. One such notable item is Shinichi’s former experience with love: he worked up the courage to confess to his childhood friend only to be nonchalantly rejected because “you’re an otaku”. I’ll reserve my judgement of her character for a later time in the hopes that she’s not really as unpleasant as that scene makes her out to be. But let’s just say that for now, I think it’s for the best that Shinichi didn’t get to go out with her. Moving on, there’s a brief flashback to Shinichi’s childhood when he has a conversation with his teacher. Her little spiel about things that you can’t learn from just studying does teach an important lesson. But while I understand she isn’t talking about the kind of scholastic learning we typically think of, calling manga textbooks is a bit of a stretch.

I don’t see how those ears are anything but adorable.

Finally, there’s the obvious deal with Myuseru being ashamed of her ears. I don’t think the problem is with her elf lineage, as we see elves strolling around town without any apparent problems. Perhaps the issue is her mixed blood? I know that it is a rather regular trope for the products of such unions to be shunned by both sides as being tainted, so this seems the more likely culprit for Myuseru’s self-loathing. But honestly, who could tell that she’s half-elf? The only notable physical characteristic that sets elves apart from humans is their ears, so she might as well be full elf as far as I’m concerned. If she hadn’t mentioned her lineage herself, I wouldn’t even have guessed as much.


Show ▼

All that said, what do I think about Outbreak Company? Basically, I love it so far. Having Feel behind the wheel is always a bit disconcerting, especially given their reputation for making more fanservice-heavy shows. But it’s not as if they haven’t done anything great within and without this mold. And with a show like Outbreak Company, I think Feel is more than justified to knock themselves out with cuteness overload. We are talking about spreading the love for moe, after all. Now, I have heard that the serious aspects (Myuseru’s predicament comes to mind) will get more attention later down the road, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Who knows? Feel might just surprise us by tackling these socio-philosophical issues head-on.


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24 Responses to “First Impressions – Outbreak Company”

  1. Cybersteel says:

    I like the rings. Reminds me of my Sky Ring.

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Elf-mimi are cute… However, it is still insufficent to press the case for this show so far.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    This is the dream job all otakus would love to have! I did have to laugh as he took the online exam before he was chosen. Really, 200 questions? Didn’t realize being an otaku needed such heavy responsibility. What happened to Shinichi before being brought to the other world just reinforces my skepticism about applying to a shady company you know nothing about. Asking a company’s function after applying is a sign of not thinking things through. It would’ve been bad for him if things didn’t turn out they way they did.

    Overall, Outbreak Company looks like a show that has enough material to please a very wide range of anime fans. Multiple comparisons to other series are inevitable. The secondary old world theme with mythical creatures brings thoughts of Ente Isla from Hataraku Maou-sama! Not to mention, the animation is stunning to look at. Scenery porn for the win! The only problem for me right now is the lead character Shinichi. He needs to cool down on his outbursts and over the top, unnecessary astonishments about everything around him or it’s going to get annoying real fast. I wasn’t too happy with his stupid reaction when he saw the ruler.

    • Sumairii says:

      My take on Shinichi’s responses is that this is the stereotypical “otaku reaction” used to reinforce that he is a hardcore otaku. That said, while I can see these reactions online, I can’t quite see them being executed IRL either.

  4. skylion says:

    When it comes to Zero no Tsukaima, all I can think of is Louise strapping me to a chair and torturing me for unlimited hours, I prefer to forget it. So the comparison is just not there. I prefer to give each new world it’s own break.

    You’ve covered the show very well, and given us HOLi Text as an introduction. I’m largely non-religious, but this is the sort of thing that I could be evangelized to…

    My favorite moment was when he was teaching Myuseru to write; it was a lovely character exchange, and a nice piece of foreshadowing, if I have any mind for that sort of thing.

    With Myuseru looking very much a human with elf ears, my guess is that full elves have a very discernible appearance that sets them apart for a demi-race.

    • Highway says:

      I have no idea why Zero no Tsukaima is a popular show. Anything compared to it looks better.

      • skylion says:

        It did have some very good moments, but they were few an far between. I’ve heard that the LN’s are much better, a shame the writer has passed away.

  5. Highway says:

    Yeah, I thought the elves had very different eye shapes or facial structure when they were walking around the town, although looking back through the show I don’t see an obvious difference. There’s definitely something, tho, that makes them seem different besides the ears.

    I liked the show, although the reactions on seeing the different people like Myucel and Queen Eldant were a little too Hiro Shimono-esque, and didn’t really fit in. And also it seemed that if you don’t have the latest releases, and you’re in a job to proselytize anime and manga culture funded by the government, you would be in a position to GET the latest stuff. No? As materials related to your job? You’d at *least* be required to form such connections as to be able to get those things. So how could he be in a better position? Think it through a little bit, man!

    Other than his initial “WOOOOW OMG!!!” reactions, I thought Shinichi’s personality was actually rather good. His interaction with Myucel was fun and cute, and did well at making her feel comfortable and also with clearing up misconceptions. I liked that he actually explained why she shouldn’t help change his clothes, and that he liked her ears.

    • Sumairii says:

      I think Shinichi’s adverse reaction is more due to being suddenly thrust into a position of such apparent authority and responsibility. I’ll admit, if he calmed down and thought about how he might be set for life for his otaku needs, he might be less flustered. But I still believe that the larger factor is the fear of responsibility.

  6. HannoX says:

    Okay, WHY didn’t the government official tell Shinichi that the empress looked like a little girl and that she was very sensitive about her appearance? Failure to impart such basic information can put a real strain on interdimensional relationships. Sure, it was done so we could see him overreact and then see her overreact, but the official could have warned him and he could still lose it. There really was no need to keep us in suspense for another minute since most of us probably already knew what she looked like from the teasers put out pre-broadcast.

    The fact that some aren’t happy about the developing relationship with Japan and the prejudice Myuseru has faced from being a half-elf and that she’s illiterate hint that this show could delve into more serious fare than just be a moe-fest. Let’s hope we get both.

    Best line: “Do you know the way home?” 95 points to the government official. Shinichi, you’ve been drafted and there’s no way out for you, at least for now. But then, what otaku would want to leave a world filled with so many moe girls?

    • Highway says:

      Who knows, maybe it is very bad to take a picture of the Empress? They definitely could have warned him that she’s a cute little girl tho, although I doubt it would have had any positive effect.

      • HannoX says:

        I also doubt it would have had a positive effect, but he should have been told. Bad oversight there, government official.

        • Sumairii says:

          I’m gonna have to pin this one on plot. Really, there’s no other reason for them to neglect this important fact other than for our personal enjoyment of his ensuing outburst. If you can even enjoy it.

          • skylion says:

            Or it could be a very calculated venture. Government guy looks like he plans things very well.

            • Sumairii says:

              That’s true. His “do you know the way home” moment was very keikaku doori, after all.

            • skylion says:

              It’s good writing. At first I wanted to trash this show, before seeing it, as troperific garbage. But it looks like they have some really interesting subterfuge going on. I don’t think anything is what it seems….

          • d-LaN says:

            I did :/

  7. sadakups says:

    Lead guy is trying so hard to hold his monster inside. He can do stuff to that maid that said maid wouldn’t say anything.

  8. Hiss13 says:

    The half-elf thing reminded me a lot of Tales of Symphonia…
    Please tell me I’m not the only one.

  9. Liza says:

    Based on Myuseru’s hair style and size of her ears, I was surprised she was able to hide them for a while. 0_o Well whatever. Spread the moe love around!

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